Classics and Religious Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2002


Copyright © 2002 University of Manchester; published by Oxford University Press.
“This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Semitic Studies following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version, vol. 37 (2002), pp. 146–47, is available online at: .”


This book, a study of the anthropological categories of “shame” and “honour” in the Book of Esther, represents an excellent new contribution to the field of Esther stud­ies. It is new because, as Laniak observes, the significance of the categories of “hon­our” and “shame” have diminished in the modern west (p. 1), and contemporary readers of the Book of Esther may be unaware of the operation of these categories on the plot and characters of the book. Laniak’s book, a basically unrevised form of his 1997 Harvard Divinity School dissertation, sheds important light on this ne­glected aspect of the Book of Esther.

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